The highest economic growth rate in 2001 was observed in the province of Groningen: 2.6%. Second came the province of South Holland with a 1.8% growth rate. With the exception of Groningen, the economic growth rate of all provinces was lower in 2001 than the average growth rate for the period 1995-2000. The provinces of Utrecht and Flevoland saw the biggest slides.
Economic growth in the regions
The economic activities in the Netherlands are unequally distributed across the regions. Horticulture is concentrated in South Holland, natural gas extraction in Groningen, commercial services in the Randstad and the chemical industry in Rijnmond, Zeeland and the south of Limburg.
Rest of Groningen growing fast
The number one region as far as growth was concerned was the Rest of Groningen where the economic growth rate was 3.2%. Since the seventies gas has been extracted in Slochteren. However, even without the gas extraction the Rest of Groningen would be one of the fastest growing regions with an economic growth rate of 2.1%. This is mainly due to the growth in commercial services (telecom) and government.
The Hague close second in terms of growth
The Hague region was a close second with a 2.6% growth rate. This reflects the above average growth of government. The sizable sector post and telecom in this region also increased by over 11%.
Regions with above average growth
The regions Almere and Den Bosch saw above average economic growth rates of 2.5 and 2.1%. This is the result of a somewhat more favourable development in commercial services and government. The development in Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen (2.0%) and the Rijnmond region (1.9%) where up because of the substantial contribution made by the chemical sector.
Aviation and agriculture keep growth rate low
In 2001 the growth rate of over half of all Dutch regions was below the national average. In the Noordoostpolder and Urk agriculture accounts for one fifth of the total value added. This is one reason why economic growth in this region was negative (-0.4%).
In the Haarlemmermeer region commercial services make up three quarters of the total value added. The negative developments in aviation (Schiphol) in 2001 turned the growth rate for the Haarlemmermeer, which averaged 6.5% between 1995 and 2000 into a 0.3% drop in 2001.